Second Home

  • A program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Second Home works together with the homeless liaisons of the Gresham-Barlow School District,  East Metro Mediation and volunteer home-providers in the community to find stable housing for young people who want to finish their high school education. 

    Second Home program video

    Home-provider Q & A

  • How does the program work?

    Home-providers offer room and board to the student while they attend high school. All home-share arrangements are governed by rental agreements and house rules the families and students negotiate together with the help of the Second Home staff and a volunteer mediator from East Metro Mediation.

    Students and home-providers are matched to form a home-sharing relationship. Support for the participants comes from both the Second Home staff and the community. This is truly a community undertaking to improve the lives of young people.

    Where will the students come from?

    Full-time students can be referred to the program by a school counselor or by the Gresham/Barlow School District's homeless liaisons.

    What am I expected to do for a student?

    You will give the student room and board for the school year (and possibly the summer, depending on your agreement). You are not expected to become a foster parent, but should a mentoring relationship develop, that is absolutely fine.

    How will I pay for food?

    You are expected to provide food for the student while they live with you.

    Does the student pay rent?

    Most students do not have jobs. If they do get a job during their stay with you, they may be asked to pay a token rent to help them establish a rental history.

    The rental agreement can be written to establish participation in normal household chores as payment in lieu of rent.

    How long will it take to be matched with a student?

    The waiting time to find a match varies and depends on the students who are entering the program, their needs and your needs. Because you must both agree that you want to live together, it is as much your decision to live with a student as it is their decision to live with you. 

    It is important to understand there may be a period of time between signing up and finding the right student to live in your home.

  • Student Q & A

  • Who can join Second Home?

    Any Gresham-Barlow School District student who is attending high school or the equivalent with the intent to graduate and who is 16 years old or older.

    Does the housing cost anything?

    No. Home-providers sign up to provide housing and food, although you may want to buy your own food if your tastes are different from theirs.

    Why do they sign up to be home-providers?

    Generally, the people who sign up want to help kids graduate from high school. They feel like this is a way they can really help make someone's life better and they want to help.

    What if I don't like them after I move in?

    Everyone in this program uses a mediation process to make an agreement before moving in, so you will have time to get to know the family before you make a decision about whether or not you want to go live with them. 

    You also have a say in the house rules, so if you feel like something isn't going to work for you, you have an opportunity to negotiate a different rule. 

    If there are problems once you are in the home, our staff is available to help you work through the issue or to find another place to live.

  • Ways to get involved in Second Home

    • Home Provider: Provide short-term or long-term housing for a Second Home student. Background checks and application required. Call us for more information.
    • Student Support Team: Support a Second Home student through holiday and birthday cards, attending their school events, tutoring and more. Background checks may be required.
    • Community Organizer: Join us in raising awareness around the issue of youth homelessness in our communities; speak to your organization or congregation; assist staff with fundraising events; and coordinate volunteers working to support youth. 

    More information

    If you are a student interested in participating in Second Home or if you're interested in signing up to become a home-provider, contact Tera Cleland at Tera.Cleland@GreshamOregon.gov or 503-618-3247.

    Second Home in the news